$61,500 payout for bash victim

A TEEN who was viciously bashed with metal bars in a Dicky Beach park now has irreparable vision problems and a fear of parties.

Two older teens jailed over the attack, Tony James Hicks and Brendan James Booby, were ordered to pay the 14-year-old $61,500 compensation in Maroochydore District Court.

The compensation, assessed at 82% of the Criminal Offence Victims Act scheme maximum, will be paid from government coffers if the men can prove they have no capacity to pay.

Hick, 17, was sentenced to three and a half years jail, suspended after he had served a year, after he pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm on May 9, 2005.

Booby, 18, was given the same head sentence when he pleaded guilty on August 12, 2005, but his time in custody was suspended after he had served 10 months.

The 14-year-old, now a stone mason apprentice aged 20, was with a group of other teenagers having drinks at a picnic table at Dicky Beach on April 14, 2004.

Judge Gary Long, in his judgment handed down last week, said Hick, Booby and some other teenagers arrived but the younger boy did not know them.

"Shortly after arriving (Booby) began remonstrating with (the 14-year-old), suggesting that he had insulted his girlfriend and threw a punch at the (boy's) head," he said.

"(Hick) joined in and also punched (the boy) in the back of the head.

"(They) they each withdrew a metal bar that had been hidden beneath their clothing and each hit the applicant across the head."

Judge Long said the assault resulted in damage to the boy's right eye and he suffered a traumatic cataract.

He said the boy had bleeding within the eye, glare symptoms and blurred vision, a 5-10% reduction of vision, with risk of future surgery and glaucoma.

A report from the boy's doctor revealed a need for cataract surgery in coming years to replace his natural crystalline lens with an artificial one.

The doctor stated that while this would restore good distance vision, he would probably need glasses for near vision.

Judge Long said the boy also had a fractured eye socket, fractured nose, bruising and bleeding of the brain and facial scarring.

He said the boy suffered an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood including consequent alcohol abuse.

Another doctor noted psychological injuries resulting from the attack, including a fear of public events.

"(The boy) also describes a psychological effect from the assault with the ongoing fear and paranoia of further interactions with his assailants and in general a fear for attending parties for fear of further assaults," he wrote.

Another report spoke of the boy's increased alcohol abuse contributing to charges involving drinking in public and vandalism.



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